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A flat view of a full baked ham with ham sliced, garnished with thyme sprigs, and roasted carrots, potatoes, and mushrooms as side dish.
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Best Oven-Baked Ham Recipe

This is truly the best oven-baked ham recipe. The skin has a nice crunch while the inside is tender and juicy. The balance between sweet-salty and the aromatics of the thyme will make fall in love with this recipe.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Dutch, Fusion
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 40 minutes
De-Salting/Rest Time 4 hours
Total Time 6 hours 45 minutes
Servings 6 people

Equipment

  • Parchment Paper
  • Foil
  • Instant-read thermometer

Ingredients

  • 11 lbs. (5 kg) smoked ham with rind, bone-in
  • ½ cup (120 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 6 tbsp. (85 gr) unsalted butter in cubes, softened
  • 4 tbsp. thyme chopped
  • ½ cup (170 gr) runny honey
  • ½ cup (170 gr) Dutch Molasses (‘Zeeuwse Keukenstroop’)
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Cloves
  • Thyme sprigs for garnish

Instructions

  • Remove the packaging from the ham. Place the ham in a large bowl and cover it with water. Cover the bowl with a towel and let it sit for 3-4 hours to remove the saltiness.
  • Preheat oven to 325°F/160°C.
  • Place ham in a large roasting pan. Wrap the ham completely with parchment paper or use a roasting bag and then cover the ham with heavy-duty foil. Seal the edges tightly. Bake ham the ham until the thermometer registers 145°F/63°C (about 1 hour and 30 minutes). Remove from the oven when done and increase the oven temperature to 375°F/190°C.
  • Just a few minutes before it finishes, boil the vinegar on low heat until reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Whisk the butter quickly into the vinegar to melt then remove from heat. Whisk in the thyme, honey, Dutch molasses, and Worcestershire sauce.
  • Discard parchment paper/roasting bag and foil. Peel off and discard the fat from the ham, leaving only a thin layer of fat on the ham (see note 1). Score (lightly slice) the top of the ham in a checkered pattern without cutting too deep (see note 2). Take the cloves and place them into the different incisions. Spread them all over the ham.
  • If there is no liquid in the roasting pan, add about 1 cup water so the glaze doesn’t stick and burn on the pan. Brush ham with half of the glaze and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Brush again with remaining glaze and bake until glaze is deep golden-brown, about 20 minutes more.
  • Remove from oven and take all the cloves out. Garnish with some thyme sprigs to serve.

Notes

  1. A little bit of fat is never bad. But, the bottom fat becomes chewy which is why you’d want to remove this part and leave only a thin layer (the “soft fat”).
  2. Even if your ham is already scored, do it again following the existing lines to loosen the top skin to absorb the sauce.